Karen Hughes believes natural skincare doesn’t need to be complex or scary. In fact, it’s at its most powerful when it is straightforward, effective and natural.
An organic approach to skincare
Taking this approach, Karen wants to help others embrace skincare as ‘a ritual, rather than a routine’.
She’s committed to making skincare part of a holistic approach to self-care.
Beauty should be part of a greater whole. Which is why her products are organic, palm oil-free, cruelty-free and sustainable.
“I believe that what we put on our skin should be given the same consideration as the food we put into our bodies.”
She uses the highest-quality organic, plant-based ingredients. Ones that are rich in actives and antioxidants, allowing them to harmonize with the skin. In turn, this also helps to feed into longer term health benefits.
Starting the journey to natural skincare
Karen’s journey started when she was trying to take care of her own rosacea flare-ups. Rosacea is a sometimes painful condition where skin develops red, patchy areas. It can be difficult to treat, or to identify what triggers it.
Doctors and dermatologists prescribed many treatments for Karen, but she wasn’t seeing any positive results. She wondered what could be behind the lack of effectiveness.
This led her to researching more about the ingredients used in skincare products. Unhappy with what she found, Karen was determined to start formulating her own natural skincare products.
Researching natural, plant-based ingredients, Karen realized that she had the power to alleviate her own symptoms, with safe and simple products that she could make herself.
“My dream was to create a successful business which would enable me to get up every day and do what I love to do.”
Getting serious with the School of Natural Skincare
When looking for somewhere to study, Karen knew what her top priority was. She had no intention of her products becoming like the ones that had turned her away from mainstream skincare. It needed to be somewhere that offered natural formulation.
Karen found the School of Natural Skincare through a Facebook group for formulators. Looking for more information, Karen found we had very positive reviews.
She spent some time comparing the School’s courses with others available. But our Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation suited her specific needs – the format, convenience and cost – and she decided that she’d be most at home with us.
“The course is presented in a simple format, is flexible and is great value for money. It lived up to all my expectations.”
Karen says she feels empowered after completing the Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation. She’s now confident in experimenting with new ingredients and it’s allowed her to create formulas she previously wouldn’t have tried.
She’s also been using ingredients she hadn’t even heard of before. Creating her first emulsion was a real turning point in her development as a formulator, she says. ‘It made me realize; there’s no stopping me now!’
Growing into a confident natural skincare formulator
While Karen was trying to solve her own skincare problems, she ended up formulating what would be her favorite product. It’s her first creation, in fact, an anti-aging serum simply named ‘Restore’.
She’s tweaked it over the years but the formula was created after finishing her Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation.
It contains lots of healthy, effective ingredients for skin, like açai, sea buckthorn, prickly pear and rosehip.
Even the men in her household started to use it, she says. With this in mind, she continued to work on the product’s scent – making it a little less floral and a bit more woody – to create a truly gender-neutral product.
And what about Karen’s rosacea flare-ups? The best part about formulating her own products, she says, turns out to be an “incredible improvement” in her own skin. Her rosacea is now a thing of the past! Once, she was using make-up every day to cover it up; now she rarely uses any.
After launching her website for Merkaba Skincare a few months ago, Karen is excited for the future and is enjoying seeing her business grow organically.
She loves that she can help customers with their particular concerns. It’s clear she values the special relationships that she’s formed through a shared passion for natural skincare.
“I love the fact that I get to connect with and nurture my customers.”
Advice for new natural skincare formulators
For anyone interested in trying natural formulating, Karen has two pieces of advice. First, think carefully about what you are doing. Consider the product you want to create and what problem it will solve.
Once you have that clear, you’ll be in a good place to begin researching your ingredients from. It will make it much more likely that your final product will be effective.
Second, invest in appropriate training. And she isn’t just talking about financial investment. It’s important to invest in yourself by dedicating time for training and study.
“It also empowers you with the knowledge and confidence to pursue your dream.”
Giving yourself space to learn will bring many rewards. One of the most important benefits, Karen says, is professionalism. But it also strengthens your understanding and trust in your own skills.
Ambitious plans for the future
Karen’s dream was to create a successful business that let her get up every day and love what she’s doing. She thanks the School of Natural Skincare for helping her to make it a reality.
Her business is built on a promise of a minimal environmental footprint. It’s an extension of her holistic approach.
From raw ingredients through to packaging, she’s determined to strip away needless complications. The goal is to leave the smallest possible mark on our natural world. Who said cosmetics can only be good for our skin, and not the planet we live on?
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